Protecting Your Small Business From Natural Disasters

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The weather forecasts at the end of last week, announced that the tail-end of Hurricane Gonzalo, would sweep across Britain.

I doubt they expected it to be powerful enough to cause deaths, force airlines to cancel up to 10% of their normal flights into Heathrow Airport, and even reverse the flow of a waterfall. It blew so far inland, that it felled trees in Central London!

It makes you wonder the effect on England, if we are ever caught in the eye of a tornado.

So, are you protecting your small business?

Enjoying centuries of relatively calm weather has lulled us into a state of security. Across the pond, in the United States, constant hurricanes and tornadoes have caused government agencies to create concrete contingency plans. This is crucial as they have a standard ‘tornado season’, running from April through July.

Here, on the other hand, government agencies dither over who is responsible for what. The floods in January wrecked more than 7,800 homes and 3,000 commercial properties. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small firms in affected areas lost a total of around £831m. Statistics show 25% of businesses that close because of a natural disaster never reopen. This is because many small businesses do not have the resources to assess their risks and develop recovery plans for the future. Therefore they are unprepared when it comes to natural disasters or ‘acts of God’. But taking some precautions and putting key plans in place will help protect your business.

We ran a poll and created this resource as a reference for our customers. The following are six of the best ways to prepare your small business for any storms:

Are You In A High-Risk Zone?

Siting that lobster kitchen on the beach in Cornwall sounded like a good idea at the time, but the storm in January proved otherwise for many companies along the scenic coast. The physical location of your business is vital to protecting it in the event of a fierce storm.

Contact the Environmental Agency to see if your desired location is in an area prone to freak weather occurrence. In the UK, flooding is the most frequent natural disaster, so ask the experts.

Correct Shop Front Protection.

The type of shop front you install can help reduce the impact of a freak occurrence. Generally, most people are worried about the cost of the door or it’s aesthetics, a little known feature that can make the difference is the size of its profile. The size of the individual slats determine the wind loading requirements of the door.

In high-risk areas, we install our toughest roller shutters with up to Class 5 wind resistance; produced to the high standards of the British Standards Institute. Stainless steel and reinforced aluminium doors are extremely resistant and can also provide protection in storms.

The Right Insurance.

In the event of a disaster, having the right insurance in place is vital to bouncing back after a disaster. While property insurance is important, it only covers damage to the location and its contents. It doesn’t account for the loss of income while repairs are carried out. This is where Business coverage helps out; the additional coverage allotted by the Business Interruption Insurance policy reimburses income that will be lost while your business is being set up again.

Note: If you have a general policy, you may need to add a policy for damage, if you need flood insurance.

Hurricane Gonzalo may have come and gone, but the destruction left behind still lingers. While it’s almost impossible to plan for natural disasters, taking precautionary steps can help small businesses protect valuable equipment and lost stock. Next week, we’ll discuss why you should pay more attention to the news and when employee safety may be more important than yours.

SRL Limited is a reputable supplier of roller shutters, security grilles and shop fronts. We manufacture our doors on-site in Manchester to the customers’ approved specifications. Stainless steel, aluminium, reinforced or not; we can cater to your shop front needs. Contact us today and let us secure your business.

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